We can only hope so … but then, one should remember that John Roberts sold his soul and his intellectual reputation to make payment for it into a tax. So we shall see. But some heartening news today if you’re someone who believes those in government should be held to the Constitution’s restrictions on government.
In a major ruling, Judge Rosemary Collyer, an appointee of President George W. Bush, said the administration does not have the power to spend money on “cost sharing reduction payments” to insurers without an appropriation from Congress.
Collyer’s decision doesn’t immediately go into effect, however, so that the administration can appeal it.“This is an historic win for the Constitution and the American people,” Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said in a statement. “The court ruled that the administration overreached by spending taxpayer money without approval from the people’s representatives.”At issue are billions of dollars paid to insurance companies participating in ObamaCare so they can reduce customers’ out-of-pocket costs, such as deductibles for low-income people.
The House GOP argued that the administration was unconstitutionally spending money on these payments without Congress’s approval.
Of course that’s an almost daily occurrence for the past few decades. The lines have blurred and no one is held accountable. Oversight? What a joke.
How far this will go and whether the decision will be upheld is a mystery at this point, but not much of one … see again the first sentence.
The administration, of course, had an answer:
But the administration said it did not need an appropriation from Congress because the funds were already guaranteed by the healthcare reform law in the same section as its better-known tax credits that help people pay for coverage.
Yup, the executive needs no permission to spend your money anymore, just as he or she no longer needs permission to wage war. Blurred lines becoming even blurrier. Separation of powers? Get real.
Imperial presidency? For quite a while. The Judge, though, wasn’t buying the explanation:
Collyer ruled that the section only appropriated funds for tax credits and said the cost sharing reductions require a separate congressional appropriation, which the administration does not currently have.
“Such an appropriation cannot be inferred,” Collyer wrote. “None of Secretaries’ extra-textual arguments — whether based on economics, ‘unintended’ results, or legislative history — is persuasive. The Court will enter judgment in favor of the House of Representatives and enjoin the use of unappropriated monies to fund reimbursements due to insurers under Section 1402.”
Good for her. It won’t dismantle the dreadful system, but it does take another chink out of its funding. It’s a start. But whether the start will later faulter and fail to be upheld is still to be seen. In today’s world, unfortunately, the likelihood of that sort of a failure is much more prevalent than had this ruling come down 40 or 50 years ago when most people still believed in a much more limited government constrained by the Constitution.
Brave new world … one that promises to be much like the old and oppressive world if some have their way.
The “Feel the Bern” gang want to be just like the European social democracies, but as I’ve pointed out before, if any of the European countries were a state in the US, they’d be among the bottom two or so. And while the benefits are wonderful when you’re living off of other people’s productivity, that can only go on for so long.
France … yes, that’s right, France … seems to be at least figuring it out a little bit.
The French cabinet has given the go-ahead for Prime Minister Manuel Valls to force through highly controversial labour reforms.
An extraordinary cabinet meeting invoked the French constitution’s rarely used Article 49.3, allowing the government to bypass parliament.It came after rebel MPs from the governing Socialist party had vowed to vote down the bill.The reforms will make it easier for employers to hire and fire workers.
The government says relaxing workers’ protection will encourage businesses to hire more people and help to combat chronic unemployment.
As one is prone to say, “baby steps” are necessary when learning to walk. And apparently those old nasty laws of economics are finally bitch slapping France enough that they’re at least willing to do something positive to help stimulate business and hopefully then grow their economy.
Valls’ decision is part of a long-running trend: For decades, the decline of the blue social model has been pushing many European countries, including ones we think of as social democracies, to abandon some of the more statist features of their economic agendas. Policies that worked relatively well in closed, stable, national economies of the mid-20th century fail to deliver in the open, dynamic economies of the 21st—and even center-left governments are forced to adapt to this reality once they take power.
Indeed, the “blue social model”, the Bernie Sanders (and to a slightly lesser extent, the Hillary Clinton) model, is, in fact, been running off the rails and not at all delivering what it has promised. But that seems to be the case with all blue social models and their components (ObamaCare anyone?).
Of course the trending away from that model is being roundly ignored by the left in the US. Just as the economic wrecks that are Cuba and Venezuela are blamed on “extenuating circumstances.”
The left will never face the reality of their utopian central control’s failure everywhere and in whatever flavor it is tried. There’s a reason for that. It goes against everything that actually works. Without “perfect knowledge” and then the means to implement it in a direct and timely fashion – two things which will never be achieved – it will always fail. Most importantly, central control simply runs against human nature and therefore authoritarian governance to impose true socialism on the citizens. And yes, the light form of that is indeed “social democracy” but to become anymore “socialist” requires government to move in a more authoritarian way to enable those sorts of “reforms”. Instead, what you see in Europe is resistance coupled with a realization that this just isn’t working as advertised.
Thus the “trend” as discussed. As more of the blue model is scrapped and countries begin to realize gains, other European countries will likely follow suit.
Meanwhile, in the US, we’re apparently considering adopting the model they’re moving away from. And it certainly will be a rousing success. They can’t make it work in countries with about one-eighth our population, but with the “competent” politicians and bureaucrats we have here, we’re sure to make it work.
Uh, huh. Really.
I’ve been having internet access problems this week and am awaiting a new router from my provider. It is supposed to be here today, but the day continues to pass. Ah, well, such is life.
Speaking of life, I noticed the other day that mention of David Duke and the KKK bobbed to the surface of the media cess pool. No mention of this that I can find, however:
A prominent leader in the Ku Klux Klan said the group is officially endorsing Hillary Clinton for president and has already donated $20,000 to her campaign.
Klan leader Will Quigg told Vocativ over the weekend, “For the KKK, Clinton is our choice,” adding, “She is friends with the Klan,” Quigg said. “A lot of people don’t realize that. She’s friends with [the late] Senator [Robert] Byrd. He’s been an Exulted Cyclops in the Klan. He’s been King Kleagle.”
The West Virginia senator was the leader of his state’s Klan chapter in the 1940s, according to Vocativ. In 2005, he publicly disavowed his involvement in the KKK, saying it was wrong. Upon his death in 2010, Clinton described Byrd as a “friend and mentor.” Byrd was among the longest serving senators in the body’s history, holding his seat continuously from 1959 until his passing.
Indeed. And, in fact, he sets the record straight about the Klan:
As for Clinton, “All the stuff she’s saying now, she’s saying so she can get into office, okay? She doesn’t care about illegal immigrants—she’s acting like she does so she can get into office. Once she’s in office, then she’ll implement her policies. She’s a Democrat. The Klan has always been a Democratic organization,” Quigg said.
It certainly has.
John Cleese of Monty Python fame lets us in on his opinion concerning political correctness. He’s not a fan:
And that’s why I’ve been warned recently, don’t go to most university campuses because the political correctness has been taken from being a good idea — which is, let’s not be mean particularly to people who are not able to look after themselves very well, that’s a good idea — to the point where any kind of criticism of any individual or group can be labelled cruel.
And the whole point about humor, the whole point about comedy — and believe you me, I’ve thought about it — is that all comedy is critical. Even if you make a very inclusive joke — like, “How do you make God laugh? Tell him your plans” — that’s about the human condition, it’s not excluding anyone, it’s saying we all have all these plans that probably won’t come and isn’t it funny that we still believe they’re going to happen. So that’s a very inclusive joke, but it’s still critical.
All humor is critical. If we start saying, “oh, we mustn’t criticize or offend them,” then humor is gone, and with humor goes a sense of proportion, and then, as far as I’m concerned, you’re living in 1984.
Welcome to “1984”, John.
“If Donald Trump is at the top of the ticket, here in Arizona, with over 30 percent of the vote being the Hispanic vote, no doubt that this may be the race of my life,” McCain said, according to a recording of the event obtained by POLITICO. “If you listen or watch Hispanic media in the state and in the country, you will see that it is all anti-Trump. The Hispanic community is roused and angry in a way that I’ve never seen in 30 years.”
Translation: “If Trump’s the nominee, I’m screwed.”
The one and only good reason I’ve found so far for Trump to be the GOP’s nominee.
The meddling of government in the health insurance business is having the predicted results. Insurers are now considering dropping the “bronze” coverage plans … you know the one’s with the lowest payments and the highest deductibles? Guess who buys those? Right … the young and healthy because government has, by force of law, required them to be insured. So if the bronze plans go the way of the former “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan” plans, what is then predictable?
If insurers do drop their bronze plans, it would have the effect of further destabilizing the marketplace, according to Sean Mullin, a senior director at Leavitt Partners. That’s because such enrollees, which tend to be lower-risk and want the cheapest plans, will likely leave the marketplace altogether, further depleting the exchanges’ share of healthier enrollees.
Because, you see, the fine will be cheaper than the available “silver” plans.
Brilliant. Great job, Bammy.
Speaking of predicted, here’s another one:
Entry-level McDonald’s jobs will go to self-service kiosks rather than to humans under a $15 minimum wage, a former chief of the fast-food giant has warned.
In a guest article written on the Forbes site, former McDonald’s USA CEO Ed Rensi wrote that instituting a $15 minimum wage would mean “wiping out thousands of entry-level opportunities for people without many other options.”
Arguing that McDonald’s franchisees would not be able to absorb the additional labor costs that would come with a minimum wage of $15, Rensi suggested that the restaurant instead would turn to self-service kiosks to replace some employees. Customers don’t mind the kiosks and they have been successfully implemented in Europe, he said.
Watch the idiots who haven’t a clue about what are called the laws of economic blow a gasket when they discover that math too has laws, and $15 times 0 hours equals … $0.
Ah well, such is life. Got my new router in while doing this and it makes all the difference in the world. In fact, the speed test says I’m getting double the mps I was getting before.
At least for a moment, life is good!
Have a great weekend!
Now that it seems it will be Trump or Clinton – two sides of the same coin. No. Two of the same side of the coin. What is America, you know the country that the Obama administration left badly listing to port and rudderless, going to do now with that … choice?
As I and many here have pointed out, it’s not the politicians fault that those are our choices, it’s the voter’s fault. They do what is necessary to get elected and stay there – the voters enable both of those things. And then don’t pay attention to what’s going on, become party bots and go to the polls to pull one lever or another … as instructed.
I’m also enjoying a bit of irony. Mainly at the expense of those who, in the past, have always told me that a vote for a libertarian candidate or being not willing to vote for the prevailing GOP candidate is as good as a “vote for the other side”. Now that it appears that Trump will be the GOP’s candidate, I’m hearing a completely different tune from many of them.
The GOP has been known for quite some time as the “stupid party” and that moniker seems quite accurate and appropriate at the moment.
As for the Democrats, well they have an equally disgusting choice as their candidate. She’s a criminal and as big a con artist as is Donald Trump. She is, in the parlance, a grifter. She, like the joker in the Oval Office at the moment, has never accomplished a thing in her time of “public service”. In fact, the only thing she has going for her right now is she’s a woman – for the first “woman president” vote. Of course we’ve just suffered through almost 8 years of that sort of first and apparently the country has a masochistic streak that is yet unsatisfied.
I mean either one of these idiots is an abysmal “choice” so it is clear that if either is elected we’ll again be led poorly and ineptly right toward the abyss.
It’s the perfect ending for a once great republic – regardless of who wins, we’ll end up being led off the cliff by a NY liberal. How … apropos.
In the meantime, the libertarian party’s membership is booming. Of course those coming on board are no more libertarian than Donald Trump is conservative. But then, its about the only reasonably agreeable and calm port the defectors can find in this political sh*t storm.
Despite breathless coverage of Venezuela’s vanishing supply of condoms, toilet paper, and beer, perhaps the country’s most debilitating shortage has been that of food, which appears to be a motivating factor for growing antigovernment sentiment.
“I want the recall because I don’t have food,” one woman told the Venezuelan commentary site Contrapunto, referring to a referendum to recall President Nicolas Maduro that has so far reportedly drawn more than a million signatures in support.
“We want out of this agony — there is too much need in the streets,” another woman told Contrapunto. “We have much pressure because there is no food and every day we have to ask ourselves what we are going to eat.”
Many families have been reduced to one meal a day. In a verdant and rich country, this is what socialism has brought them too.
And the idiocracy in charge? Well, they’re reduced to abjectly stupid moves like this in an attempt to forestall the inevitable:
To try to shore up wages, Maduro on Sunday announced a 30% minimum-wage increase, which comes after a 25% hike on March 1 and is the 33rd wage boost since 1999. Beginning this month, workers and pensioners will earn 15,051 bolivars a month — only about $13, based on the black-market conversion rate, according to El País.
That amount may become even more paltry. Venezuela’s inflation rate in 2015 was 180.9%, according to the central bank, and the International Monetary Fund expects inflation in the country to reach 720% this year.
The acquisition of food has become the primary function of Venezuelans:
“I have to leave the house at 5 a.m., facing the risk of being killed, to stand in line all day and only buy two or three products,” Jhonny Mendez said.
Do yourself a favor and look through the pictures of the amount of food several families have in their house in a day that accompany the above article..
What has happened in Venezuela is criminal … there’s no other word for it. Chavez was a criminal and his henchman now in charge is also a criminal. What they’ve done to that country is unforgivable. And it was all predictable … in fact, it was predicted. I also have a feeling it isn’t going to end well:
Meanwhile, the return El Niño, a cyclical weather phenomenon, leads to widespread power outages across the country as the authorities’ incompetence and corruption are laid bare. 76 percent of Venezuelans have fallen into poverty and 13 percent eat only twice a day. Maduro’s government is rejected by 85 percent of the population.
Looting last week was contained but the Governor of Lara, Henri Falcón, a former Chavista, noted that “this is a thousand times worse than the reasons that led to the ‘Caracazo.’” He added that, at any moment, the political, social and economic crisis may lead to a conflict of incalculable consequences.
It seems, this week, that I’m all about proving Shark’s point that “every time I think we’ve reached peak stupid, something new comes along to prove me wrong.” Well here you go, Shark, the shot:
Bringing my adopted cat, Jameson, home with me in 2014 was one of the happiest days of my life.
Having to go back to work two days later was one of the worst.
While the rest of the country is hung up on the necessity of maternity leave — or even the newly coined “meternity” — one group continues to be overlooked when it comes to paid time off from work: new pet owners.
One of the important economic truths we who pay attention to markets have learned is the government should never be involved in picking economic winners and losers. It’s doomed to failure and it is even more doomed when driven by politics – which usually ignores reality for utopian visions they try to pay for with your money.
The recent utopian dream shared by the left and our leftists in government has been “clean energy”. Like wind turbines and solar. Why? Well it would help create a much more clean and healthy environment where the birds and bees and flowers and trees would all be much happier. And, after all, it is our responsibility to take the necessary steps to protect our wildlife.
According to a study in the Wildlife Society Bulletin, every year 573,000 birds (including 83,000 raptors) and 888,000 bats are killed by wind turbines — 30 percent higher than the federal government estimated in 2009, due mainly to increasing wind power capacity across the nation.[i] This is likely an underestimate because these estimates were based on 51,630 megawatts of installed wind capacity in the United States in 2012 and wind capacity has grown since then to 65,879 megawatts. And, at one solar power plant in California, an estimated 3,500 birds died in just the plant’s first year of operation.[ii]
Oh wait, that’s not supposed to happen! And when it does, don’t the leftist environmental groups go batsh*t crazy (no pun intended).
I mean look how they were when oil was the culprit killing birds:
Over the past five years, about 2.9 million birds were killed by wind turbines. That compares to about 800,000 birds that a Mother Jones Blog estimated to have been killed by the BP oil spill that occurred in April 2010[iii]—5 years ago–despite not all of them showing visible signs of oil. Nevertheless, BP was fined $100 million for killing and harming migratory birds due to that oil spill. In comparison, the nation’s wind turbines killed more than 3 times the number of birds than did the BP oil spill over the past 5 years. And, wind turbines routinely kill federally protected birds and eagles.
Why I’m sure there have been protests and all by environmentalists haven’t there? And media coverage! I mean I remember watching hours of oil soaked bird footage on CNN and the other networks. Where’s the outrage? And where is the fines for this gross violation of all the leftist environmentalists hold sacred? Why isn’t the federal government stepping in and doing something?
Oh, they did? Boy, did they:
The Obama Administration on December 9, 2013, finalized a regulation that allows wind energy companies and others to obtain 30-year permits to kill eagles without prosecution by the federal government. The American Bird Conservancy filed suit in federal court against the Department of the Interior, charging it with multiple violations of federal law. [viii] Nonetheless, the Shiloh IV Wind Project in California, for example, received a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service allowing it to kill eagles, hawks, peregrine falcons, owls and songs birds while not being subjected to the normal prohibitions afforded under the federal Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Treaty Act.[ix]
Now that, my friends, is truly outrageous. Different standards for different industries – one fined at the first ruffled feather because it is the unfavored industry, and the other given a license to slaughter what we all believed to be “protected species”.
Your government at work, picking winners and losers and excusing the winners from adhering to the law. Special treatment. Is that equal treatment under the law?
Well of course not … but it is how banana republics do things.
Yesterday, the Shark said: “Every time I think we’ve reached peak stupid, something new comes along to prove me wrong.” Well, to prove Shark’s point, I found this:
The Second Amendment is highly contested. There is no doubt that people do have the right to carry and have a stockpile of guns (“the right of the people to keep and bear arms”) and a state has the right to organize a well-regulated Militia. But, the main issue is on the right to self-defend with a firearm.
The main problem with the notion of self-defense is it imposes on justice, for everyone has the right for a fair trial. Therefore, using a firearm to defend oneself is not legal because if the attacker is killed, he or she is devoid of his or her rights.
To say this is probably one of the stupidest things I’ve ever read would be an understatement. It is certainly an indicator of how far the left will go in it’s “reasoning” to deny you the use of a gun and your basic right to self-defense. I said “basic” but self-defense is indeed an inherent right. You need no one’s permission to exercise it because you own your life and without protecting it, you would obviously cease to exist.
That apparently is lost on this statist rube. Let’s lay this out a little differently. This Huffington Post writer is attempting to persuade you that a civil right (an actual societal construct applicable only to a particular society) is somehow superior to an inherent right (a right that is yours without anyone or anything granting it. It is your existence and its requirements for survival that “grant” it. The right is applicable to all mankind without exception. It can be violated, but it can’t be taken away.). We have an idiot here who claims that if you defend yourself your action “imposes on justice”?
Wtf? Your action, especially if you successfully defend yourself, IS justice! And how you do it or with what is irrelevant! Gun? Knife? Crowbar? Throat punch? Each and every one of those may “impose on justice”, as he defines it and is your right. But this dolt tries to sell that as a primary reason to restrict the ownership of guns. Only cops should have guns and you should defer your “self-defense” to them!
This is a person that has no concept of inherent rights, what they mean and why they’re necessary. So he writes slop like this! And it gets worse as his “reasoning” stays in the ditch and hits a concrete culvert several times. No airbags deployed because his ideas weren’t worth spit to begin with and certainly not worth saving.
So Shark … suck it up bud. We’re not even close to “peak” stupidity. The stupid machine keeps on churning and the manure keeps on plopping out.
Still fascinated by all of this. This mossy little sub-culture that suddenly sprouted all these oversensitive and whiny little crybabies in the one institution where they ought to be trying on their big boy and girl pants fascinates me. Kind of like a bacteria culture fascinates a bacteriologist. And besides, what’s to say about Trump and Clinton? A con man and a crook are likely to be the nominees, brought to you by … “democracy”.
Anyway, now, apparently, there is hell to be paid at the University of Washington because the “cheer team” (what we used to call “cheerleaders”) offended some of the overweight and pasty womyn who populate gender and feminist studies. They apparently had the gall to notify those who were interested in the “cheer team” what was expected.
Cheerleaders, it turns out, are expected to have a certain look.
“U-Dub” students (hey, that’s just one letter away from U Dumb!) were unloading on social media, crying to counselors and fleeing to safe spaces after the cheer team posted an infographic describing the look to strive for if you’re planning to try out for the squad. (In the routinely craven manner of all universities, the UW spirit program ordered the graphic removed and called in nine tons of smelling salts for those affected.)
I repeat: The graphic was aimed only at young women seeking to be cheerleaders. Pasty-faced Womyn’s Struggles majors attending rallies in shapeless sweatshirts, and black-clad Emily Dickinson fans emoting agonized coffeehouse verse were not the target audience.
So, the graphic apparently “offended” the “uninterested” (i.e. those who had no intention of joining the cheer team but had no problem whatsoever passing judgement on their methods) to the point that they became interested because …
“I can’t believe this is real,” Jazmine Perez, the student government’s director of programming told the Seattle Times. “One of the first things that comes to mind is objectification and idealization of Western beauty,” she harrumphed.
Signe Burchim, a UW senior, added, “I think it’s really upsetting and kind of disheartening the way it’s basically asking these women who want to try out to perform their femininity — but not too much.” She said men would never be subjected to such a message while trying out for a sport.
The worldly Signe Burchim, UW senior, and person with so much knowledge of what goes on out in the real world absolutely and positively knows this to be a fact … well, according to her woman studies prof. Men are never asked to meet the standards of some group or team they would like to join (I assume there are men on the “cheer team”). Ever.
As for Ms. Perez and her attempt to make this about race, sorry, a swing and a miss. As the NY Post points out:
Contrary to Ms. Perez — who reminds us that college is a place where you pay $50,000 a year to unlearn the obvious — female beauty standards like facial symmetry and waist-hip ratio are pretty much universal. But here’s the thing she missed: The graphic made no demand that cheerleaders be pretty. Everything illustrated has to do with styling and presentation, not your actual attractiveness. And no, it isn’t racist: Race is nowhere mentioned or implied.
Tailoring your look to a group’s standards is how almost everything works. You don’t show up to play baseball in a scuba suit. You don’t show up for a business meeting in board shorts and flip-flops, unless you work in Silicon Valley, in which case you don’t show up in a tie and wingtips. And you don’t wear Goth makeup, “Born To Be Bad” tats and fishnet tights to a cheerleading tryout — unless you’re doing a performance art piece, which might actually be funny.
If you want to be a cheerleader, your hair should have “volume” and your eyelashes should be “false,” because that’s how cheerleaders roll. You don’t like it? Fine, do what everyone who feels the same way has been doing for decades: Sit in the bleachers, roll your eyes, make snarky jokes and stew in your jealousy.
But hey, these precious snowflakes have learned that almost anything that doesn’t make them feel happy is likely to have something to do with the patriarchy, racism, sexism, miscegenation, white privilege or some other yet to be identified shortcoming of the dominant culture. Don’t believe they learn it at school? Check out this email from a professor at the University of Missouri before it all went in the ditch:
Dr. Tim Evans, an associate professor in the Department of Veterinary Pathology, writes to his colleagues: “I applaud the support provided to our protesting students who, regardless of whether you agree or disagree with them, are using what they have learned in the classroom and putting it to practice.”
If what Dr. Evans says is true, what a profound disservice the faculties of these schools are doing to their students. As I’ve said any number of times, they’re letting the inmates run the asylum, and make no mistake, given the level of this sort of nonsense now ongoing at various schools, they more closely resemble asylums than they do institutions of higher learning.
But there’s a backlash building and the University of Missouri is only the tip of that iceberg. Parents recognized the inmates were in charge and pulled their kids or decided against sending them to that university. Money talks, SJW BS walks.
It is indeed going to be both fascinating and entertaining watching how this all finally sorts itself out. But I can’t at all help observe it all with glee as the very people who taught and enabled this generation of whiners and crybabies are the first it consumes.
It isn’t like you have to go back ages in history to see governing models that don’t work. The recent end of the Cold War provided perfect examples. But they collapsed in the ’80s and our younger generation has no memory of the hardships the people of those countries suffered under socialist totalitarian rule. They also give indications that they think government is the solution for all our problems instead of understanding that for the most part government is responsible for many of our problems. It seems they think that if we just had big government, everything would be lovely.
The “Feel the Bern” crowd are enamored with “social democracy”. They like to point to Europe and pretend that the system is a desirable one. But instead of pointing to Europe, perhaps they should cast their eyes to the south – to Venezuela. They might find it, oh, I don’t know, enlightening:
In 1999, Venezuela was taken over by Socialist who promised that he would punish big corporations and redistribute wealth to “the people” to provide health care, education, infrastructure, and even out income inequality. (Sound familiar?) The American Left cheered. Celebrities like Sean Penn and Danny Glover praised his Democratic Socialist economic measures. Chavez systematically nationalized the oil, banking, agricultural, food distribution, telecommunications, and power industries in Venezuela; because running them as social democratic communes would eliminate “greed” and give the people lower cost goods and services. The American Left praised him for “democratizing” the Venezuelan economy. When Chavez shut down opposition TV, radio, and newspapers the American Left defended it as necessary to protect the Revolution.
The American Left likes to pretend now that Venezuela isn’t a real example of Social Democracy; but up until the economy collapsed (as every sensible person knew it would) they were Chavez’s biggest cheerleaders, as the links above (or any Google search) shows.
It is, of course, a horrific example of a socialist takeover, but a typical one. A once well-off country with the most proven oil reserves in the world reduced to literal poverty. Food shortages, other commodity shortages, you name it, you can’t get it there. Oh, and about those oil reserves? Well it seems that Venezuela has an energy crisis. And the government’s solution? Well it said everyone should take Fridays off (yeah, screw productivity – that’s a capitalist construct) and this bit of brilliance:
Last week, his government said it was shifting its time zone forward by 30 minutes to save power by adding half an hour of daylight.
Socialism … in Venezuela’s case they’re actually feeling the burn.
Then there is Brazil. Brazil is the lover of “big governments” wet dream. Or as it has now become, a nightmare. Brazil is a failing state and the primary reason that it is failing is because of the premise under which it has operated for decades. Big government paternalism:
For all its modernist appeal, it was one more expression of the country’s long and troubled attachment to the concept of a giant paternalistic state, responsible for managing the affairs of the entire society, from its biggest companies to its poorest citizens.
“The problem is, from time immemorial, Brazil’s political leaders only see one way forward, the growth of the state,” said Fernando Henrique Cardoso, a former leftist intellectual who sought to reduce the size of Brazil’s government while president from 1995 to 2002. “But you need another springboard for progress, that doesn’t exclude the state but that accepts markets. This just doesn’t sink in in Brazil.”
Many wan’t to blame Brazil’s problems on corruption like the corruption scandal now rocking the nation. But the corruption arises from the base problem … big, unanswerable government:
While many observers of Brazil’s predicament have focused on the country’s corruption, that may miss the point. Brazil’s deeper problem lies in the failures of its Leviathan state, which has perennially reached for the utopian visions embodied in Brasília but instead has produced recurring cycles of boom and dramatic bust.
Of course there a huge lessons to be learned from these two countries that apply to this country and the current political arguments now being made. All, to some degree or another (with Socialist Sanders being the extreme) argue for both social democracy and bigger government. We apparently don’t learn from other countries but insist on learning the hard way, by repeating what has already failed any number of times.
That’s because of arrogance and the belief that the only reason any of this hasn’t worked in the past is the right people weren’t in charge.
With the class of politicians we have running today, Hugo Chavez would be a better choice to run their ideas.
And we all know how well he did.